Clause 6 - Document to be laid before parliament

Part of Regulatory Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 29th March 2001.

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Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office) 10:30 am, 29th March 2001

Indeed, the amendment could do that. It was suggested in debates in the other place, and in the consultations with the Committees, that the requirement to have a regulatory impact assessment should be specified in the Bill. However, regulatory impact assessments are improving. The Government believe that they have improved the previous Government's process for examining the impact of regulation on business.

In future, the process of regulatory impact assessment might improve further, so we have resisted including specific references to current procedure in the Bill. We would rather rely on the process itself to get to the heart of the matter, and ensure that the full impact of a proposed regulatory reform order on every relevant person is taken into account. I therefore ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.

The hon. Gentleman pointed to clause 2(1)(b) as an example of where burdens will not apply. However, that does not mean that burdens on Ministers or Departments cannot be taken into account if they are affected. It rather prohibits a regulatory reform order from taking burdens solely from a Minister or Department. I know that the hon. Gentleman struggled to find an example, but I do not think that that was a good one.